Embiid welcomes Rivers to 76ers after Philadelphia reportedly agree deal

By Sacha Pisani 2 October 2020 32
Embiid welcomes Rivers to 76ers after Philadelphia reportedly agree deal

Joel Embiid welcomed Doc Rivers to the Philadelphia 76ers after the former Los Angeles Clippers head coach reportedly agreed a deal with the NBA franchise.

Rivers is set to replace Brett Brown on a five-year deal at the championship-chasing 76ers, according to ESPN.

The 76ers, who sacked Brown after being swept by rivals the Boston Celtics in the first round of the NBA playoffs, quickly turned to Rivers following his Clippers exit.

Rivers departed the Clippers after the Los Angeles team – boasting Kawhi Leonard and Paul George – sensationally surrendered a 3-1 lead against the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference semi-finals.

And All-Star Embiid approved of Rivers' appointment ahead of any official announcement on Thursday.

"Welcome to the city of Brotherly Love Coach @DocRivers!!!!," Embiid wrote via Twitter.

"Excited for the future and what we’re building here #PhillyForever."

Rivers is poised to cross the divide, having previously coached the Celtics and guided Boston to the NBA championship in 2008.

The 58-year-old arrived at the Clippers in 2013 and led them to the playoffs in six of seven seasons, but never beyond the conference semi-finals.

Rivers finished with a 356-208 regular-season record at the helm of the Clippers, but was just 27-32 in the playoffs.

He is set to join a 76ers team facing questions over All-Star duo Embiid and Ben Simmons and their compatibility, after Brown struggled to fully utilise the franchise pair together in Philadelphia.

The 76ers, eyeing their first NBA championship since 1983 following two trips to the Eastern Conference semis under Brown, were reportedly targeting former Houston Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni and 2016 title winner Tyronn Lue before Rivers became available.

Embiid averaged 23.0 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game in the regular season as the 76ers (43-30) finished sixth in the east, and 30.0 points and 12.3 rebounds in the playoffs at Walt Disney World Resort.

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Sacha Pisani